Notes 8.5.3 and Sametime Web API woes

For one of our products we are using the Sametime Web API which is a great way to Sametime enable applications outside the Notes client. Basically it uses the web container running within Notes Standard to provide a HTTP API for Sametime awareness. Great. We had an issue however after upgrading from Notes 8.5.2 to Notes 8.5.3 where Sametime awarenss stopped working but thanks to the design partner program and the help of Khuan Hoe Kong from IBM we’re now back in the business. As this issue may bite others I thought I would post it here.

Our problem was that we were using the “mystatus” and “getShortStatus” API calls to get awareness status that is we were using local calls like http://localhost:59449/stwebapi/mystatus/ and http://localhost:59449/stwebapi/getShortStatus. These calls returned JSON we could use to get awareness status and as previously mentioned these calls worked fine in Notes 8.5.2 but after going to Notes 8.5.3 (and hence a newer version of the embedded Sametime client) they stopped working. Apparently these calls were considered a security risk so there were blocked and needed to be unblocked in order to work. Below is the response from IBM.

For security reasons, many of the WEBApi functions are disabled by default, including the mentioned two. To enable the function, add a preference to the plugin_customization.ini in the following format:<function>Enabled=true

For example, to enable the getstatusshort, you would add this preference:

To enabled all the Web API functions you can use the global override:

The details of this change may be found in ST8.5.1 SDK.

While the above solution works it requires the customer to configure the client and hence wont work for us. The funny thing is that while the getstatusshort method is blocked for “security reasons” the getstatus method works just fine. Only difference is that the getstatus method returns more info. Makes no sense.

My main reason for considering this a bad approach is that I get an HTTP code 200 back but the response is empty/invalid. That seems wrong. A better REST solution would be to return a 403 Forbidden with an explanation why. What would in my mind have been the correct solution. Hope that can be incorporated into a future release.

But it works now so I will go back under my rock.